Ferrari in the dockposted in F108 | 09 | 2010

    FERRARI WILL find out this afternoon whether the FIA World Sport Council will impose sanctions on the team following the 'team orders' controversy at the German Grand Prix ay Hockenheim.

    While the rest of the team prepares for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali will be the only senior figure from the Maranello outfit set to travel to Paris for the hearing.

    Surrounded by a posse of lawyers, Domenicali will defend the team against claims they used illegal team orders at Hockenheim and subsequently brought the sport into disrepute.

    Both drivers — Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa — involved the incident, which was broadcast live to millions of television viewers around the world, are expected to be made available via telephone or video steam to the hearing should their input be required.

    For anyone who needs reminding of the incident, it focuses on the moment Massa handed his lead to Alonso seconds after being told by his English race engineer Rob Smedley that his team-mate was 'faster' than him.

    As if that wasn't blatant enough, Smedley's comments immediately after the manouevre had been completed — when he apologised to Massa — plus the Brazilian's body language and facial expressions after he climbed out of the car at the end of the race, rather confirmed the 'swap' wasn't a move he agreed with.

    Quite what will happen this afternoon is open to debate. Some people believe Ferrari will be made an example of and punished heavily, possibly with the team and both drivers losing the points they won at Hockenheim. Such a decision though is likely to be taken directly to the courts by Ferrari lawyers.

    The other side of the argument is the team will be let off lightly if the FIA find the team simply carried out a team 'strategy' rather than team 'orders'. Somantics? Well I guess that's what lawyers get paid for arguing over.

    Whatever the outcome, we should get a verdict late this afternoon.


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